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The philosophy of Homebrew is radically different from MacPorts or Fink. Homebrew tries to work as far as possible with the pre-installed big items (Perl, Ruby, Python). It drags in as few dependencies as possible, in general, from what I can tell.

Both Fink and MacPorts, on the other hand, install virtually an entire second world of software - parallel to the built-in Apple stuff - in their respective sub-directories (/sw for Fink and /opt/local for MacPorts).

If you install Getmail with MacPorts, for example, you instantly drag in a full Python installation as a dependency (even though OSX already has Python installed). Similarly, if you install Weechat with Perl support, MacPorts installs its own version of Perl to build Weechat against. There are pros and cons, I think, to the Homebrew and MacPorts/Fink methods, but they are very different.




There was an attempt to get gentoo's portage working on OS X with the same philosophy, but they gave up and said that it had been a mistake to go in that direction and not just install parallel copies of everything.

I don't know the specific problems they had.


Historically OS X shipped with ancient versions of Python that were not always complete. Same with Perl and others. It's only since the last two or three releases of OS X that they included halfway decent versions of them.

I agree that it may seems somewhat stupid now, but there was (and perhaps still is) a very good reason for installing them separately.


> It's only since the last two or three releases of OS X that they included halfway decent versions of them.

And even then, sadly the pretty decent versions don't get updated (OSX 10.6 comes with Python 2.6.1… 2.6.2 was released in April…), so you're essentially SOL between two versions of OSX.




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